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154                                  MYRMECOBIUS                                   CHAP.
an Interesting description of Its habits. A.ntechinomys has much
the look of the Australian Hat, Hapalotis mitchelli ; and as the
two animals lead a similar kind of life, the resemblance is not
unexpected. Professor Spencer wonders why these creatures are
saltatory In habit. The country which they Inhabit Is arid, hut
with patches of grass and shrubs. ITor a big kangaroo the
advantage of the power of leaping over such obstacles may be
obvious, but not for the small and slender ^Antechinomys. The
chief foes of this rare Marsupial appear to be predatory "birds ;
and Professor Spencer thinks that, the saltatory mode of pro-
gression may be more baffling to such pursuers than even a
rapid run.
The genus Dasyuroides has been lately Instituted by Professor
Spencer for a Marsupial from Central Australia somewhat in-
termediate between Sminthopsi& and Phascologale. As there is
but one species, the generic will "be considered with the specific
characters. D. "byrnei Is an animal of about the size of the
Common Rat. The hallux is absent. The tail Is fairly thick,
but not " incrassated." There are six mammae, and the pouch is
but slightly developed, with two low lateral folds. The dentition
is I -j- C -J- Pm - M -J. This Marsupial is nocturnal, and burrow-
Ing in habit. Its food consists of Insects.1
Myrmeco'bi'us Is so different from the last-described gen era (D AST-
URINAE) tliat It Is usually separated from them as a sub-family
MTBHECOBIINAE. The animal is of a bright rufous colour, banded
posteriorly with white. There Is no hallux, though the metatarsal
belonging to that digit is present. There are four mammae.2
On the chest Is a naked patch of some extent, upon which open
the ducts of a complex gland, which has been described and
figured by myself.3 There Is no pouch, but a tract of skin
shows Indications of a pouch - like structure. The teeth are
extraordinarily numerous, fifty to fifty-four ; the formula being
I -g-^j C -J- Pm - M -|-. Their resemblance to those of certain Jur-
assic Marsupials Is dealt with on p. 100.4 In this matter lies of
1 Horn Scientific Expedition, pt. ii. Zoology^ 1896, p. 36.
a Leehe found five, and Waterhouse stated eight to be the number.
8 Proc. ZooL Soc, 1887, p. 527. See also Leche, Biol. Foren, FQrhandL 1891, p.
136, and literature quoted.
4 Traces of homy pads, like those of the Duck-hill, hare been asserted to exist
in this ftnimal. This Is exceedingly interesting when regarded in conjunction
with its multitubereulate molars.